Christmas is a little less than a month away, which means that the Goodlaffs are getting late-ish in sending out our Save the Dates. If we wait any longer, they may mature into actual invitations.
You know what you need before you can mail out Save the Dates? A guest list. And addresses.
It's not like we've been purposefully slacking off on this: Mr. Goodlaff and I have had a (revolving) guest list for about six months. When we began, the list was smaller than it is now, but then there was the inevitable "Oh, you can't not invite Suzie Lou," and the "we were invited to their son's wedding," or the "they probably won't come, but..." Suggestions were made and so were changes: additions, deletions, re-additions. We went so far as to make a back-up list of people we would like to invite if our budget and numbers will allow it.
Like Santa Claus, Mr Goodlaff and I have been checking and re-checking the "nice" list, wondering what exactly allows someone the privilege of a Save the Date and an eventual invite to the wedding. Does the fact that someone is a blood relation guarantee they get an invite? How about friends you haven't spoken to in years? What about your parents' good friends that you've never met?
I wish I could say that we discovered the secret to guest list success--we didn't. Maybe the Holy Grail of wedding planning is a formula for guest-inviting etiquette, complete with charts, graphs, and FAQ's. All decisions could be blamed on and complaints referred to this magical formula!
But seriously, deciding who to invite is no picnic. Mr. Goodlaff and I have huge families to begin with, and (lucky us!) with big families comes big family drama on both sides. Will inviting Guest 1 upset Guest 2? Will not inviting Guest Z offend Family Y? Are we going to need to have bouncers at our wedding because there's the possibility that someone may throw a punch? I bet it's easier to get a Visa for North Korea than it is to figure out who to put on the guest list for the wedding, and if, on the big day, the guests will be able to behave themselves.
I wish we could invite everyone we know, but with the Goodlaffs footing most of the bill for the wedding, it's just not something our budget will allow. Daddy Goodlaff graciously offered to help us save on catering by not attending, but Mama Goodlaff gave him the evil mom stare and told that wasn't an option.
This week we will get those last few addresses plugged in to our spreadsheet and finalize our Save the Date design. Soon they will go to the printers and hit the mail and then there will be no turning back!
What challenges did you face in constructing a guest list? Did you set any limits on who you'd be inviting?